Reschenthaler, Calvert propose resolution to commend U.S. Navy during pandemic

U.S. Reps. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) and Ken Calvert (R-CA) on May 22 introduced a resolution to honor the U.S. Navy and those aboard the U.S. Naval Ship (USNS) Comfort and the USNS Mercy during responses to the COVID–19 outbreaks in Los Angeles and New York City.

“As a former Navy JAG, I am deeply proud of the brave men and women aboard the USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort who served our nation during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rep. Reschenthaler said. “President Trump deployed these hospital ships to the front lines of the coronavirus response in New York and Los Angeles so the crews could provide high-quality health care to these heavily impacted communities. Our nation owes them a debt of gratitude for their selfless commitment to saving American lives.”

Rep. Reschenthaler sponsored House Resolution 979 to commend the efforts and honor the work of the men and women of the USNS Mercy, USNS Comfort, and the members of the U.S. Armed Forces and civilians who deployed to New York and California to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the text of the resolution.

“In troubled times, the USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort are beacons of hope and salvation,” said Rep. Calvert. “When called upon for help, the active duty, reserve and civilian personnel on the Mercy and Comfort prepared the ships to deploy ahead of schedule so they could quickly join the fight against COVID-19.”

“We stand in awe and applaud the professionalism, care and compassion demonstrated by the crews on these ships,” Rep. Calvert added. “Our country is incredibly proud and grateful for the life-saving mission performed by the USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort.”

The USNS Mercy arrived at the Port of Los Angeles on March 27 with an 800-plus crew, who treated 77 patients and assisted with care at nearby medical facilities in the greater Los Angeles area, while the USNS Comfort moored at Manhattan’s Pier 90 in New York City on March 30 with 1,200 personnel who treated 182 patients.

If enacted, the resolution also would express condolences to the families and friends of those who lost loved ones during the pandemic and would commend healthcare workers and first responders who sacrificed and provided care for those with COVID-19.

Among the other cosponsors of the resolution are U.S. Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Paul Cook (R-CA), and Mike Garcia (R-CA).